Nov 6, 2010 2:21am
Re: What Is Gone
If you guys want the bottom line on this stuff. Sound recordings prior to 1972 have no federal legal protection and no statutory punitive damages.
That would lead you to common law copyrights, which you'd have to sue violators in a state court.
It is probably questionable that RS invoked DMCA takedowns for works that absolutely have no federal protection.
It would be expensive and a half for RS to actually sue anyone in 50 states. The result would probably be varied.
If this were federal law, trademark and personality rights cannot keep a work out of the public domain. We have the uncertainty of state courts with sound recordings prior to 1972.
Is any of this stuff public domain? No. It has been relegated to state courts to determine the copyright status of sound recordings before 1972 until 2047. I will be dead by then, but maybe I should have a time capsule on 60 year old media ;)
Could you get sued? Mostly this stuff was abandoned in the 70's. Amari probably bought the "rights" to this stuff for a 6 pack. I know Mediabay has used tape vendors to get the materials they use and then harassed the people the bought them from.
Are any sound recordings prior to 1972 public domain? NO.
Is it likely that a state court would award damages for materials that are commercially worthless? Again NO.
Would a corp just wash this in bankruptcy if it happened? Of course. Without federal punitive damages, a lawsuit would not be worth it.
I think RS should just concentrate on giving bookstore visitors high quality (it's been slipping) recordings and quit paying a pimply lawyer.
Some of the materials that remain unclaimed by Radio Spirits are Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes episodes which they do not claim, but offer extremely high quality recordings. I recommend them.
It is by offering a quality product, not suing, that is their business. I have RS CD's.
I will never, ever buy another one.